For The Record: Quick News On Fantasia, Maroon 5, Helmet, Mariah Carey, Mark Tremonti, Tha Alkaholiks & More

Fantasia got a warm welcome when the American Idols Live Tour rolled into her home state of North Carolina on Saturday. Governor Mike Easley declared it Fantasia Barrino Day, saying the singer “has shown through her amazing talent and larger-than-life personality that goodness does really grow right here in North Carolina.” …

Maroon 5, Moby and the Dixie Chicks are among the acts donating children’s songs to Mary Had a Little Amp, due October 5. Madonna, Jack Johnson, R.E.M., Dave Matthews and Lou Reed have also contributed to the compilation, which will benefit Project Kid Smart and Start Smart America. … Helmet‘s Page Hamilton suffered a broken collarbone while mountain biking, forcing the band to revise its tour schedule. Helmet will now launch their first tour in seven years in early October. The release date of their album Size Matters has also been affected, moving from its original September 14 release date to October 5. …

“Madden NFL 2005″ is not only bigger and better than last year’s edition of the football video game, it’s more popular. The game moved more than 1.35 million copies in its first week, the biggest opening week in the game’s 15-year history. … John Lennon will be the focus of a new line of Nike shoes after his widow, Yoko Ono, gave the company her blessing. As part of the ad campaign for the new shoes, Nike is re-creating the cover of the Beatles‘s 1969 album, Abbey Road, on which Lennon wore white shoes. His signature will be featured on the heel of the sneakers, and lyrics from his song “Imagine” will be written on the toes. All profits from the line will be donated to charity. …

The judge in Michael Jackson‘s child-molestation case decided Monday to allow more than three dozen items of evidence seized during searches at a private investigator’s office and at Neverland to be admitted at trial. Judge Rodney Melville deferred a final decision whether to suppress other items until a September hearing. Melville also ruled that prosecutor Tom Sneddon did not violate a gag order when he spoke at a district attorneys conference. …

Aretha Franklin, who has performances scheduled in Los Angeles and Las Vegas next month, has studio time booked with Mariah Carey and Gloria Estefan for her upcoming duets album. Clive Davis, who oversaw Santana‘s star-studded Supernatural, is producing. … Mariah Carey’s fashion and accessories line, “Automatic Princess” — which includes key chains, necklaces, rings, tiaras, and, of course, charm bracelets — was to launch in October, but is now available at select Claire’s stores nationwide. The singer is planning a children’s book series of the same name. …

Viewers tuning in to A&E’s new reality show “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” premiering August 31, might hear a familiar voice performing the theme song. Ozzy Osbourne somehow found time between Ozzfest and his own TV series to pen the opening theme to the show about a real-life bounty hunter and his family. … It’s last call for Los Angeles hip-hop trio Tha Alkaholiks. The group announced that its next album, Firewater, will be its final effort together. The LP, the group’s fifth, is scheduled to be released in early 2005. …

Ex-Creed member and current Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti showed his sweet side when he donated $1,000 worth of rare guitar equipment to Eight Days Gone guitarist Steve Miceli. The Eight Days member, whose band will be opening for artists including Puddle of Mudd and Trapt on an upcoming national tour, was searching to no avail for rare guitar amplifier tubes which Tremonti happens to use, so Tremonti sent some over, no questions asked. … Felix Da Housecat, who produced and co-wrote half of P. Diddy‘s upcoming dance album, recently mixed a compilation that will serve as the soundtrack to the video game “Playboy: The Mansion,” due in November. Felix has also been busy remixing Marilyn Manson‘s “Personal Jesus” cover and Nikka Costa‘s new single, “I Don’t Think We’ve Met” featuring Prince, as well as producing the new girl group Neon Fever. …

The Deftones have announced a batch of tour dates for their upcoming U.S. trek. More shows will be announced soon, but according to their Web site, the tour is expected to run for five weeks, beginning on September 28 in Los Angeles. … The Von Bondies and Auf Der Maur are teaming for a co-headlining tour across the Midwest and East Coast from September 17 through October 1. In November, the Von Bondies will return to the road with the Donnas. …

The Legacy Edition of the Clash‘s London Calling, due September 21, will feature five never-before-heard songs among the 21 rehearsal sessions included on the second disc. The re-release of the seminal album also includes a remastered version of the 1979 release and a DVD called “The Last Testament – The Making of London Calling.” … It’s not enough that Pete Doherty has been on a self-destructive path these last few months, now complete strangers are taking shots at him, too. The Libertines singer/guitarist claimed on his Web site that he was attacked in London while his band was touring the U.S. without him. According to his post, a guy with an Irish accent called him a “crackhead” and attacked him. When Doherty ran for it, he was hit by a car, giving his attacker another opportunity to pummel him. …

8.20.2004

Hip-hop producer Just Blaze will serve as a special guest DJ for the Saturday stop of Usher‘s Truth Tour at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He will spin before the show and after opening act Kanye West‘s set. Just Blaze has also served as Jay-Z‘s touring DJ. …

As a preliminary hearing for the Michael Jackson case took center stage in Santa Maria, California, the pop star seemed to be more concerned about his representation not in court, but in VH1′s movie “Man in the Mirror.” Jackson released a statement Thursday saying that he was tired of being “vilified” and “humiliated” by the “many hurtful lies and references to me as ‘Wacko Jacko’ as well as the latest untruth about me fathering quadruplets.” He asked for the “same kindness and respect” that he had shown others to be shown to him. In court, meanwhile, the stepfather of the singer’s accuser testified that Jackson’s associates had offered the family a house and college funds to make a videotape that would portray the singer in a more positive light. He testified that he asked for more than was offered. On Thursday, defense attorneys also played for the court a videotape of the Neverland raid, to demonstrate their claim that the search went outside the scope of the warrant. On Friday, the Neverland property manager testified that some areas searched were not specified in the warrant, but that he had initially cooperated when authorities said they were only searching areas to establish that the locations were secure and that no one was there. He said that he later objected, and was told the search warrant would be amended. …

The release date for Chingy‘s Powerballin’ has been pushed back from October to November 16. The first single, “Balla Baby,” is due on the airwaves in early September, and the St. Louis rapper is shooting the video in Los Angeles next week with Jeremy Rall, the director behind Ludacris‘ “Roll Out.” … Rodney King told the show “Celebrity Justice” that he’s got a hip-hop CD in the works, and hopes to collaborate with such stars as Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige. King — who became famous when his beating at the hands of the LAPD was caught on videotape, an act that led to the 1992 L.A. riots — now says his court-ordered drug-rehab counselor convinced him to pursue rap, and said that he has nothing but support from the police now. “I had one cop tell me, ‘Hey, man, don’t worry ’bout nothin’. I got your back, Rod, I got your back. No matter what,’ ” King said. …

Former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri seems to be fully recovered after having surgery to repair a hernia. After being released from a hospital on August 13, Oliveri wasn’t laid up for long, resuming a European tour with his band Mondo Generator on Monday. … Not one to wallow in disappointment in the wake of Lollapalooza’s cancellation (which he was scheduled to headline), Morrissey has announced a solo North American tour. The trek begins September 29 in Washington, D.C.; dates have been announced through November 1 in El Paso, Texas. …

Mudvayne have finished their new album, which took them seven months to write. The band’s third studio album, which is still untitled and has no release date yet, was produced by Dave Fortman (Evanescence, Superjoint Ritual). “We’ve been extremely fortunate to work with some amazing producers,” lead singer Chad Gray said in a statement. “Garth Richardson captured the band’s raw energy on the first record, and David Bottrill gave our music a three-dimensional quality on the second record. For this record, we asked Dave Fortman to produce because we wanted someone who can bring both of these elements together into a sound that’s brutal and beautiful.” …

To prove that 100 Million Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong, the boys from Jersey are releasing a five-disc box set called exactly that on November 16. Few details have been released, but fans can start getting psyched about three discs of previously unreleased songs, one disc of rarities and a DVD with behind-the-scenes footage. Fans can make their mark on this retrospective by e-mailing tellus@bonjovi.com with anecdotes and personal essays for a chance to have their words included in the set’s booklet. … The Grateful Dead are putting out a box set, featuring music spanning from 1973 to 1989. The 12-disc set, Beyond Description, will feature remastered and repackaged studio albums for Grateful Dead Records and Arista, dozens of previously unreleased outtakes, live tracks and alternate versions, giving fans a total of 15 hours of music and 161 songs. The set is due in stores October 26. …

Canadian rock icons the Tragically Hip are making their way down from the Great White North to grace the stage at a venue near you. The band has announced 23 tour dates in support of its most recent release, In Between Evolution, beginning September 18 in Detroit and ending October 19 in Rochester, New York. … Stingy fans of gravelly voiced singer Macy Gray who have held off purchasing her major-label releases can now rejoice. Three albums’ worth of Gray’s hits are compiled on The Very Best of Macy Gray, due September 7. Along with familiar favorites like her 1999 breakthrough single, “I Try,” and her collaboration with Erykah Badu, “Sweet Baby,” the LP features the new single “Love Is Gonna Get Ya” and several remixes. Gray returns to the U.S. tour circuit September 2 in San Diego. …